The Lego Batman Movie (spoiler free)

There are two things that can be enjoyed by kids and adults throughout their lives: Legos and Batman. Naturally this movie was to be expected after the massive success of “The Lego Movie” and with how the popularity Batman’s character received in that movie it was bound to get a spin off. I was very excited to see this one as Batman is easily my favorite super hero and Mrs. Apologist was equally excited since she is a certified Lego fanatic. “The Lego Movie” set up some pretty high standards for Lego Batman in his standalone movie to follow but with a phenomenal cast and Chris McKay back to direct, it seemed poised to match up nicely.

The plot is pretty standard here. The Joker is on his quest to take over Gotham City and Batman is out to stop him. We see Joker’s diabolical plan to destroy Gotham city thwarted by Batman early on and we also see Joker’s feelings get hurt by Batman since Batman is kind of a loner who does not seem to appreciate the symbiotic relationship they have. Next Bruce Wayne attends a gala for Commissioner James Gordon’s retirement while his daughter Barbara prepares to  take his place. This gala gives young orphan Dick Grayson the opportunity to introduce himself to Bruce and try to get himself adopted. Bruce is very distracted as he seems to be instantly smitten with Barbara until she starts talking about her plans to have the police work with Batman since Batman hasn’t caught any of the major villains in Gotham. Joker has now rounded up all the major bad guys in Gotham and attacks the gala with a new evil plan. Its up to Batman to save the day yet again! I do not want to spoil the movie too much so that’s where we will leave the plot summary at this time.

This movie does have several strengths on its side. They assembled a great cast for this movie just like in “The Lego Movie”. We have Will Arnett back as the main star and he does a fantastic job with his delivery and his tone. Michael Cera (Robin/Dick Grayson), Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred Pennyworth) and Zach Galifianakis (Joker) round up the main group of characters and they each deliver their own flair to the roles. Also included in the cast is Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Conan O’Brien, Doug Benson, Billy Dee Williams, Zoe Kravitz, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Ellie Kemper, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill round out the voice stars here. The humor is another standout with plenty of silly jokes for the kids and quite a few jokes slipped in there for the adults as well. It wouldn’t be a Batman movie without some action and the action flows fast and furious throughout, keeping the 104 minute run time lean and exciting. I also really enjoyed the references to all the previous Batman films.

There weren’t too many glaring weaknesses in the movie but it did have a few cheesy or predictable moments, which are to be expected in a family movie. The story was just a bit lackluster with much of the focus was on how Batman is lonely and Joker is insecure. Some of the humor feels a little forced at times which again can be a symptom of movies aimed at children/family. The bar was set pretty high from “The Lego Movie” and Lego Batman just didn’t quite have all the goods to exceed it.

Overall “The Lego Batman Movie” provided enough action and humor to be enjoyable but I’m not sure that there is enough there to warrant multiple views unless you’re under 10 years old. It takes an excellent cast with some quality jokes and action and comes out with a very solid rating of 2 Apologies. You could certainly pick a worse movie for a night out at the theater by yourself or with the family.

-Movie Apologist

Suicide Squad (Spoiler Free)

For comic book fans and super hero fans alike, there has been such hype generated for this movie in the years since it was announced. But when the movie finally came out, it did not receive the kindest reviews from movie critics. That does not seem to have stopped us fans from flocking to the theaters to see it. Like most fans, I did my best to not let the negative views affect my desire to see this movie and I was still very excited for it’s debut. After seeing it, I can say that the hate it received was not deserved. I want to express what I liked and didn’t like about the movie without giving anything away.

Overall, I very much enjoyed the movie and do recommend comic book and super hero fans to see it and share their own thoughts (please share opinions in the comments section below, but keep this review spoiler free for now).  Suicide Squad didn’t have that same feeling as many other super hero movies: organize super heroes together and have them save the day. The big difference is that the main characters are not heroes, they are villains being recruited to try to do some good.

These villainous characters are the main stars here and they deliver a fun experience. A character is only as good as the actor who is playing them, and lucky for us, we have a really good cast. The Joker, played by Jared Leto, is always an interesting character. The Joker has been played in the past by some very talented actors (Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Mark Hamill) which would seem to leave some big clown shoes to fill. Each actor has played the Joker with a touch of their own flair and Leto definitely adds his touch. He tiptoes down the line of perfect insanity and being too over the top but manages to stay perfectly insane. Margot Robbie does an unbelievable job as Harley Quinn. She absolutely nails the character from dramatic, wild-eye facial expressions to wacky speech to the physical appearance of someone committed. She steals the show and is supremely entertaining to watch with her insanity and spouts of comic relief. I also thought Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang turned in very strong performances as well.

The action sequences were well done. They did not have that shaky camera work that Marvel seems to love in their films. The plot does follow a pretty standard formula for a hero movie but it is serviceable. While I did enjoy the movie and thought it was an overall positive experience, it is not a perfect movie. There are some drawbacks that I will briefly go over without ruining any of the movie. It is not an overly long movie at 2 hours 3 minutes however it seemed to drag on. As much as I loved certain characters, there are plenty of characters that were weak and forgettable. I don’t want to say which ones at this point so I’ll let you decide that on your own.

I do look forward to the DVD/BluRay release with what I hope will be an unrated/rated R director’s cut. In the meantime we have this version which delivers quality action, some laughs, and manages to exceed the critic reviews.

This movie earned 2 1/2 Apologies. 

-Movie Apologist

Suicide Squad

I am very excited to see this movie! Got my tickets for Sunday and I cannot wait to see it and write a review for everyone. I have seen some of the negative reviews out already but that has not deterred me in my desire to see the movie. All the characters are very interesting and I am anxious to see how they translate to the big screen. The cast looks pretty good with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, and Joel Kinnaman. So I will definitely put together a review Sunday after I see it. Talk to you all later

  • Movie Apologist